There is no truth to the rumor that one must pass an “a$$hole test” to purchase a BMW.

The Inverse Relationship, though, is true: The smaller the BMW, the bigger the–oh, never mind.

21 August 2015 · Comments Off on NASCAR Dreaming · Categories: Personal Musings

I got my driver’s license a long time ago.

Shortly thereafter, I was driving the family car in a snow storm on I-85 near Charlotte, North Carolina. As I recall, I was doing about 50, reasonable in a snow storm, when a pick-up truck careened by me on the left, then immediately shot to the exit ramp on the right, almost taking the hood ornament, except that 1961 Fords did not have hood ornaments.

That’s when I said, “All North Carolina drivers must think they are Richard Petty.”

Well, it’s just going to get worse.

21 August 2015 · Comments Off on “In the Navy, You Can Sail the Seven Seas” · Categories: Personal Musings, Running Naked through the Internet

And do other stuff.

I think it’s damned shame that Ashley Madison got cracked, because cracking is bad. It is bad in and of itself.

I also know temptation, but I can attest that I never signed up for temptation–I waited for it to come to me.

I am struggling with a conflict between principle and schadenfreude, and I fear that, at least on an emotional level, schadenfreude is winning.

17 August 2015 · Comments Off on Good Eats · Categories: Personal Musings

I was in Philadelphia the last few days visiting family.

I now have five grandchildren, all of them boys.

I do love Philadelphia. Despite my 300-plus-years of Virginia roots, Philly is as much home for me as any other place. It is one of the world’s great cities, with one of the world’s great inferiority complexes, as it is half-way between New York City and Washington, D. C., cities that bring hubris to life.

It was good to be in Philly for a few days.

I came back with a cooler full of Philadelphia scrapple, because all you can find in these parts is Rapa brand, which, as far as I can figure out, is a combination of lots of bread-like substances with a few pork-like bits, on which I refuse to waste my money. Breakfast can be many things, but a waste of time should not one of them.

I brought back eight pounds of the real thing–I trust that it’s enough to last me until my next trip up north . . . .

14 August 2015 · Comments Off on “Or Your Money Back” · Categories: Personal Musings

I’m not a big fan of Amazon, as they are trying to hijack all of the retail (cue the chorus: all of the retail) and their warehouses are hell-holes for workers, but I do sometimes order books from them because books are what they do best.

Nevertheless, I was pleasantly surprised at this: I recently ordered some additional Phryne Fisher mysteries (you should too–I’ve read six and am heading for nine) from Amazon; because I was hitting the road for a few days, I paid for overnight delivery. Two of them arrived as scheduled, but one was shipped late. Amazon refunded the entire shipping fee I paid, an amount equal to the cost of one of the books, because of that. I didn’t care and wasn’t going to complain, as I had two books to take with me and stuff happens you know; they did it on their own hook.

I’m still not a big fan of Amazon, but credit where credit is due and all that, eh what?

09 August 2015 · Comments Off on Discovering How To Lose Friends and Influence People · Categories: Personal Musings

I reckon that Discover Card’s current internet ad campaign, in which they cover up your browser window for a few seconds, is supposed to get attention.

It’s got mine. If I still* had a Discover Card, I’d cancel it immediately, cut it up in little pieces, and mail it back to them postage-due.


*Had one once. Got rid of it long ago.

04 August 2015 · Comments Off on We Have Created a Culture of Stupid, Exhibit Umpty-Ump · Categories: Personal Musings

My electric razor died after over a decade of faceful service, so I shopped for a new one today.

One of the shavers on the store display had a stubble attachment (I shan’t dignify it by naming the brand), so you can get your Yasser Arafat look just right.

28 July 2015 · Comments Off on “It Don’t Mean a Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing” · Categories: Personal Musings

Listen to KCEA.

You’ll be glad you did.

27 July 2015 · Comments Off on Garden Notes · Categories: Personal Musings

If you look back at the photographs I’ve posted, you will see a number of pictures of bumbledy bees.

I haven’t posted any this summer because we have seen hardly any bumbledy bees.


If you are a mystery buff, check out the Phryne Fisher stories and the television show based on them. They are most excellent stories which lean more to cozies than to any other sub-genre.


When I was growing up in the days of Jim Crow, I remember my father’s going to pay his poll tax so he could vote.

As he was not-black, it was routine transaction. Also, as he was not-black, when he had come of age, he had passed his literacy test. Being white was all you needed to pass the literacy test.

The voter fraud fraud is the poll tax and literacy test in updated, modern Sunday-go-to-meeting clothes.

Yesterday, I met someone who had the temerity to defend the Stars and Bars as a memorial that the soldiers who lost their lives defending the “Southern way of life” deserved. She followed that by arguing that the Civil War was about “economic systems,” not about slavery, conveniently forgetting that the Southern “economic system” was slavery.

She repeated the lies Southerners have told themselves and others for the last 150 years so as not to admit that secession was about slavery and nothing else and that the Confederacy was conceived and birthed to defend an evil, the lies that speak of “honor in battle” and dress the Secesh in Sunday-go-to-meeting clothes.

I don’t lose it often, but I lost it.



And I regret it not a bit.

Lies must be called out lest they live forever.

I have had my fill of those who dress the Secesh, past and present, in Sunday-go-to-meeting clothes.

28 June 2015 · Comments Off on Huckster on the Hustings · Categories: Personal Musings

Bigots gotta big.

I got into an unusual conversation with my barber* at my recent haircut, which was on Friday after the gay marriage decision came out.

Turns out that she was raised Southern Baptist, as was I. We compared notes about Sunday school and memory verses (that’s a Baptist thing, or at least it used to be), how so many bits of the Bible contradict other bits, and how much deviant sex the Bible contains, from incest to adultery to you name it.

We also spoke of how persons pluck one phrase out of the Bible and ignore all the contradictory phrases that surround it, how they thunder about a man lying with a man even as they eat shellfish and wear clothing made of multiple fabrics (cotton-polyester anyone?), while missing the message of Jesus, which was love, tolerance, care, and forgiveness.

She’s not particularly liberal by any means–my guess would be quite the opposite when she is in the voting booth–but she can’t figure out why all the hate, why some people just can’t let other people be.

Our conversation didn’t get there, but the answer to “Why all the hate” is quite simple.

Hate sells. There’s always a buyer.


*This is the same barbershop at which I once got into a shouting match with someone who thinks that Fox News speaks truth. Shouting matches really aren’t my style; I’m more a slow burn kind of guy.

My only defense is that I was infected by the stupid.

23 June 2015 · Comments Off on Climate Change Is Bunk · Categories: Personal Musings, Weather or Not

Therefore the outside temperature at midnight is not 88 Fahrenheits and my two outside thermometers and the weather link on my sidebar over there —-> are lying to me.

Damned scientists.

Howsomever did they manage to suborn my thermometers?

21 June 2015 · Comments Off on It’s Not Right To Fool Mother Nature · Categories: Personal Musings

The only plants native to Southern California are cacti and tumbleweeds. Everything else is imported and irrigated. (The same goes, natch, for Arizona and most of Nevada.)

I used to have training gigs in Burbank. My Air America flight (Air America is now part of U. S. Scare DBA U. S. Airways) usually involved a change in Phoenix.

The flight from Phoenix to Burbank happened to follow the aqueduct carrying water stolen from the Colorado River to sate Los Angeles’s undying thirst for swimming pools and perfect lawns. Every time I made that flight, looked down on that artificial river through the desert, and watched as my plane cleared the mountains and started its descent above the swimming pools, irrigated lawns, and faux greenery of southern California, I thought to myself, “This is a sin.”

It looks as if reckoning is imminent.


Every week, the persons who do the yard work at this here condo spend large amounts of time blowing dirt and leaves around with leaf blowers.

They don’t gather them up, they don’t compost them, they don’t pile them up; they just blow them around, all the while using gasoline and making noise.

Leaf blowers are evil.

Worse than evil, they are pointless.

07 June 2015 · Comments Off on Stray Thought, Sunday Supplement Dept. · Categories: Personal Musings

Many years ago, when Parade Magazine first replaced This Week Magazine in the Sunday edition of my local rag, I thought that Parade was a big nothing.

Times have changed. Parade has shrunk.

It’s now a little nothing.

05 June 2015 · Comments Off on Stray Thought · Categories: Geek Stuff, Personal Musings

Facebook, Twitter, et al., are not “social” media. They are sociopathic media.

They like you only because you have big da-tas.

30 May 2015 · Comments Off on The “Marvel Movie Universe” · Categories: Personal Musings

Six-minute cartoons that are three hours long. Who woulda thunk?

27 May 2015 · Comments Off on Stray Question (Updated) · Categories: Personal Musings

It’s been a long time since I was a high school senior.

Just when did “senior pranks” become a thing?

Addendum, Later That Same Day:

According to The Guardian, high school seniors’ doing stupid stuff has graduated to a “tradition.”

Back in the olden days, when I was a young ‘un, we tried to hide our stupid, not broadcast it.


27 May 2015 · Comments Off on Stray Thought · Categories: Personal Musings, Politics of Hate

No right-wing Bible-thumper will think to suggest from Sunday’s pulpit that the flooding of Texas may be a sign from the Almighty that the climates they are a-changing.

Not a single one.

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